Richmond Astronomical Society

June Meeting Minutes

Oct 9th, 2012 | By | Category: Meetings

RichmondAstronomical Society

753rd Consecutive Meeting

June 12, 2012



Greetings – approximately 36 in attendance at the meeting.

Jim Browder called our meeting to order in theEurekaroom with a viewing of the TV coverage of the Venus Transit from channels 6 and 8.  Many thanks from Jim, Leslie, and theScienceMuseumfor our public observing session last month.


Share Table

Venus transit photos!!

More Astronomy Day photos!! 

Ken brought a book (by a local author) named Telescope Eyepieces and Astrographs

Betty brought a folder full of information about an open house atLangleyon Sept 22.


Library Report

Virginiareported no problems with the library.


Events and Individual Observing

Recent Events:

  • Transit of Venus observing event at theScienceMuseum. Many, many thanks to John and Marie Barnett, Cliff Bell, Jim Blowers, Bill Jeffries, Lizbel Cajigas, Gary Cowardin, Pernel Johnson, Mark and Sydney Mabry, Chris McCann, Dave Medici, Ray Moody, Allan Noah, Madhup Rathi, John Raymond, Prashant Reddy, Dan Salkovitz, Jerry Vaughn, Dave Walton and to Leslie Bochenski and the Science Museum. Thanks to all whether you brought a telescope, helped with logistics, or just brought yourself for moral support.  There were 16 telescopes set up for the public to view Venus’s movement across the Sun.


Upcoming Events:

  • ScienceMuseum,Skywatch, June 15: Please sign up and bring a telescope if you can. More information is at The RAS skywatch will start at dusk after the LiveSky planetarium show. A sizeable crowd is expected – after Live Sky at 6:00 PM there will be a free screening of the new IMAX film ‘Space Junk’ at 8:00 PM. The film will end at about 8:45, just in time for Skywatch to start.
  • Petersburg National Battlefield,Hopewell, June 16: Skywatch starts at 8:00 PM. Please contact Jim Browder at if you can help with this event.
  • RAS Observing at Camp, June 16: Observing session for RAS members and guests at the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation in Goochland. The address is1723 Maidens Roadin Maidens, VA. Detailed directions to the site are at this link:
  • Once you enter the reservation from Maidens Road/Rt. 522, take an immediate right turn into the Cub Adventure Camp, drive about 0.1 mile and take the first right on onto a gravel/dirt road to the top of a hill which is the observing site. Please note that anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in order to comply with camp rules.
  • Live NASA downlink from the International Space Station, July 5: SMV has requested a few RAS volunteers to do astro activities at SMV on Thursday, July 5 in conjunction with a live NASA downlink from ISS. The exact time is TBD, but we expect it will be during the day between 10 am & 5 pm.
  • Next RAS meeting, July 10: Please join us if you can. A number of us also gather before the meeting at Arby’s across the street from the Museum about 6:00 PM.
  • Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies Annual Meeting, September 15: Save the date! This year’s VAAS meeting will be held at the Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation which has dark skies, convenient location and great facilities. If you can help with this event or if you have suggestions for speakers, please contact Betty Wilson at


Visitor Welcome:

  • Scott Kozel
  • S. Elizabeth Allen
  • Mitch Glasgow
  • Will Clavijo
  • Romualdo A. Ferrezra



Short Talk:

“Sunspot Size and Duration,” Sydney Mabry

One of our youngest members, Sydney Mabry, 7th grader atMoodyMiddle school, participated in the Metro Richmond Science Fair, and received a $50 prize from RAS for her project researching how the size of a sunspot affects the longevity of the sunspot.  She took some time and presented some of the knowledge that she learned during her project.  Sunspots are some of the coldest spots on the Sun.  They are formed by magnetic energy in the Sun, and can affect communications on Earth, and can interfere with orbiting satellites.  Her research involved watching sun spots over extended period of time, as they rotated around the Sun.  Her results were as follows:

Large sunspots lasted an average of 40.6 days, medium spots lasted about 19 days, while smaller spots lasted around 4.9 days.  The sizes of the sunspots appear to definitely affect its lifespan.  Good work,Sydney!!




Major Presentation:

“Lunar Geology — Craters and Basins,” Eric Douglass




The next RAS meeting will be Tuesday, July 10th at the SMV.

The next board meeting will be Monday, August 20th at Extra Billy’s at 7:00 PM (arrive earlier for dinner). Meeting is open to all members.


Check out the web site at

RAS Café Press store.  Please take a look at the online store where you can purchase items embossed with the RAS label. The site can be found at .



Comments are closed.